Crested tit

From a distance, this is quite a dull coloured tit with predominantly grey-green upper parts, buff flanks and a white breast. The white cheeks and lack of wing barring identify it at this range. More closely it has a very distinctive black and white crest, which it can fan and raise upwards.

Resident throughout the year, it is more visible during the summer period when accompanied by feeding young.


Its main habitat is the ancient pine forest and newer Scots pine forestry plantations of the Central and Eastern Highlands, from the River Spey catchment to the Dornoch Firth.

It is limited in its range as it only nests in old pine trees. May be seen foraging through conifers in the company of other tits such as coal, great and blue tits, where its crest easily distinguishes it.

Scottish crossbill

Scottish crossbill

Loxia scotica

This is a well-built finch with a large head and substantial beak with the distinctive crossed mandibles. They are highly adapted to feeding on seeds taken from native Scots pine cones, breaking into the cones with their strong beaks. They also feed on th...